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11-04-2011, 03:58 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by jeverettfine Quote
Most of the suggestions above stress the acquisition of more equipment, but what about software to organize and edit the photos? The most used is Photoshop and Lightroom, but there are several others that are quite good. You can get Photoshop "Elements", Lightroom, etc
If your school is on a tight budget and your just dealing with teaching the basics, then processing wise you could look to Picasa, it is a very basic digital processing software package from Google (the company that is swallowing the tech world one mouthful at a time). Picasa is simple to use and best of all it is Freeware so you don't need to worry about licence fees and each student who has access to a PC can have access to processing software. It is also easy to learn and teach!

11-04-2011, 04:18 AM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by ablundon Quote
What exactly is a 0.45x Wide Angle Lens and a 2x Telephoto Lens? What focal length? Do they have adjustable aperture? I assume they must be autofocus.
They're not lenses with a mount. They're screw on "filter" lenses, like the closeup lenses we sometimes use for cheap macro. They generally degrade IQ quite a bit, and the distortion of the wide angle ones is significant. That's about all I know of them.
11-04-2011, 04:31 AM   #18
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Ahh...I never read the whole description of the K-r...the 18-55 and 55-200 is included with the kit.

Yes...I agree then that these lenses are not much use.
11-04-2011, 04:42 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by ablundon Quote
What exactly is a 0.45x Wide Angle Lens and a 2x Telephoto Lens? What focal length? Do they have adjustable aperture? I assume they must be autofocus.
They are crap.

But wait, there's more! I have used various of these wide+tele adapters over the past 5+ decades. I call them strap-ons.

* Those meant for old medium-format TLR cameras like Rolliecords and Yashicamats were OK because the film size overrode the optical deficiencies, and the worst edges could be cropped.

* These have been popular on home cine+video cameras. They're OK there since our eyes don't notice their aberrations and distortions of moving images. We just don't notice their crappiness.

* I've put high-quality strap-ons onto a 5mpx P&S. The tele isn't too bad. The wide sucks. It's OK if I don't expect the image to look photographic -- OK for posterization, solarization, other tortures.

* I've put those same strap-ons onto various lenses on my K20D. And then quickly removed them. Image quality is awful. If you want an image to look as bad as possible, these are ideal tools.

My recommendation: If they are given to you, thank the donor politely and put the glass to good use like burning ants or frightening birds. If you are considering spending money on them, don't. Just don't. They are worthless. For what they cost, you can buy one or more very good used manual prime lenses.

11-04-2011, 10:24 AM   #20
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suggestions

QuoteOriginally posted by hnikesch Quote
If it were me I would get several point and shoot digital cameras in addition to the DSLR, that way more kids can get a hands on at the same time. The P&S can be used for composition and the DSLR for exposure lessons

Hans
I agree you need to get cameras into the hands of the kids and just the one camera you have now is not enough. Many may have cameras already, though. What to do with the pictures after they are made is every bit as important, thus learning how to handle them on a computer.
11-04-2011, 05:27 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by jeverettfine Quote
I agree you need to get cameras into the hands of the kids and just the one camera you have now is not enough. Many may have cameras already, though. What to do with the pictures after they are made is every bit as important, thus learning how to handle them on a computer.
Try using a bridge camera type like the Pentax X-90. I think this model has been discontinued but other models are being made file this role. They offer the flexiblity of the D-slr woth the compact size of the P&S. Try seeing if some of the students already have a camera on the level of bridge camera or a D-slr. You may be surprised to find at least on student that knows their way around a digital camera equal to what you are trying to teach. Kids have grown up with digital cameras and may find their way around them far easier then adults.

A note on your list of equipment. A lot of what is said about upgrades and the use of prime lens are worth looking into. I would add looking at getting some good book on digital photography as a text to learn from. I have a book by Tom Ang. He has a number of books out that are great to pick up the in and outs of digital photography. Books are worth there weight in gold. Also get out and start getting used to using the camera yourself. You get a bit ahead of what your students are going to learn. Start applying what is going to be teached to yourself to see where the weaknesses are before putting the course on the students.

Look at some form of computer as well as well as the programs needed help edit and do post production of the images. This will be a very important part of the picture taking process. Look at getting some free software like Gimp. This is a great toool that is free to down load and use. Just a few of my thoughts on what can be done.
11-04-2011, 06:48 PM   #22
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Good luck with your class... I did what you're about to do for 15 years. IN the beginning I had one computer and a couple of cameras. By the time we were done we had 20 film cameras (K1000's) a lab full of Macintosh computers, 6 or 7 point and shoots. I would have liked more point ands shoots.... but a lot of the kids could borrow one from home. The thingsa I woul d work on if I were you..

basic exposure - undertanding aperture, shutter speed and ISO and how they work together
Basic aperture - shooting for wide depth of field
............................shooting for narrow depth of field
............................the EV button... when the correct exposure doesn't do what you want
Light - compensation for backlight.
If you have studio lights... a basic 4 light set for portraits (main light, front (fill) , hair, back, for portraiture
I found it helpful to have lots of books on photography in the classroom.. kids do better trying to recreate the work of pros than they do on their own.
There is enough there to keep you busy for a semester...but, you need to have a practical assignment for every thing you teach. Its not enough to say "I get it." They have to show you work that show without doubt that they get it.

I also used to give photo journalism assignments... shoot action photos for a school team or activity... Write a brief description of your hobby of favourite activity, with accompanying photography used to help illustrate relevant points....

You also have to have to be able to augment anything you do so you can keep the smart kids busy when they come back with better work than you couild have done yourself on day 2 of a 5 day assignment. Teaching photography is a great gig if you can get it.
11-04-2011, 09:26 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by ablundon Quote
What exactly is a 0.45x Wide Angle Lens and a 2x Telephoto Lens? What focal length? Do they have adjustable aperture? I assume they must be autofocus.
They're converters.You put them on in addition to the regular lens. The 0.45x makes your focal length 45% of what the lens is. So a 100mm lens would be 45mm, making the shot wider. The 2x is 200% magnification, so that 100mm lens would be 200mm. They ruin image quality, don't even bother with them.

The first lesson you should learn and teach the students is that if you/they can't get the shot you/they want with the lenses you have, use those things you call legs to move closer or farther away. I'd honestly ditch the zoom. It's a bad habit for newbie photographers to get into, getting rooted in one place depending on zoom, or even worse converters, to get shots.

Interesting side note to this class talk. The advanced photography class I'm taking next semester doesn't provide cameras like the beginner class does (the people in that class that didn't have their own cameras got a D40 and kit lens). So it's actually acceptable to use a cell phone camera in that class. Interesting.

11-05-2011, 01:48 AM   #24
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Some interesting points raised.

*Wow how great would it be to be a kid nowadays - photography taught in class instead of Latin* !

Someone mentioned Picasa as free software everyone can use and not only that download and use at home on their own PC/Mac, it's an excellent program - I even know a Pro who uses this when shooting events to prepare shots for in-site slideshows. I'd also look out for other photography-related freeware that does a great job on both Pcs and Macs (resizes, renamers etc. etc,).
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